What Is Love?

It's Not What You May Think

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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According to Google, the top question asked in a Google search in 2014 was “What is love?” I found this statistic at once fascinating and troubling.

Fascinating because the human heart is basically the same throughout the world.  Troubling because most human hearts do not understand the true meaning of love.

CLKdvVQUkAAgjBlPhoto Source: Lightstock.com: Photo ID: 137736

Defining love is like defining God–difficult to explain but easy to describe. The reason? God is Love and Love is God. The two are exactly the same.  Hence, the difficulty in describing both.

But the nature of a being can be known by its attributes. And so it is with love. So, let’s look at the nature of love as described in the book that was written by Love itself–the Holy Bible.

In the first letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul describes love as follows:

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t sing its own praises. It isn’t arrogant. It isn’t rude. It doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. It doesn’t keep track of wrongs. It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth. Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up. Love never comes to an end (I Corinthians 13:4-8).
 
Wow! That’s a tall order, isn’t it? In light of the description of love above, how many of us truly love all the time?
 
None of us!
 
But when we receive Christ into our hearts, He loves through us. This is the Christian life: allowing Christ to express His love through us.
 
So, are you allowing Christ to express His love through you? To find out, ask yourself these questions:
  • Am I patient?
  • Am I kind?
  • Am I jealous?
  • Do I sing my own praises?
  • Am I arrogant?
  • Am I rude?
  • Am I obsessed with myself?
  • Am I irritable?
  • Do I keep track of wrongs done to me?
  • Am I happy when injustice wins out?
  • Am I happy when truth wins out?
  • Have I lost faith and stopped believing?
  • Have I lost hope?
  • Have I given up?

Did you notice that none of these questions has to do with the other person in the relationship but all have to do with you?  Why? Because love always goes first. Love always takes the initiative. Love never acts depending on what the other person does or does not do. Love acts based on the right thing to do.

Our world has confused emotional and sexual titillation with true love. This is the reason so many marriages end in divorce and so many families break apart.  True love, however, (also called agape love), is a spiritual love originating in God and demonstrated through the way we treat our neighbor no matter what the circumstances.

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“Our world has confused emotional and sexual
titillation with true love.”

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Only agape love will last when the going gets rough in a relationship. Only agape love will enable you to withstand and overcome.

Only agape love is what the world is truly looking for. And that kind of love is found only in the One Who is Love–the Lord Jesus Christ!

If you’re looking for love today, you are really looking for Jesus.  Go to Him and receive Him into your life. When you do, you will find True Love.

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In my newest work of fiction, SURRENDER TO LOVE, young widow and life coach, Dr. Teresa Lopez Gonzalez learns that only the love of God can drive out fear. PicMonkeyFINAL061815416pm

Available in Kindle and print versions.

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If you have any questions, you may contact me as follows:

Email: drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
Tel. 856-488-3580
________________________________
Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Photo Source: Lightstock.com Photo ID: 226690

Source Cited: http://www.google.com/trends/2014/story/top-questions.html

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Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com or via one of her social media venues below:

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Are You Terrorized by Terror?

How to Protect Your Heart from Terrorism

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
_______________________________________

It’s in the air. This monstrous beast called terrorism. We sense it all around us. We feel it in our bones. We watch it every night on the evening news.

If we let it, it will paralyze us emotionally, psychologically, and physically.

Terror -  Red Color Text on Digital Background.

Fotolia.com File: #60891819 | Author: tashatuvango

And that’s precisely its goal.

The purpose of terrorism is to instill terror in the hearts of men. Whether it succeeds or not is up to us.

Terror is a form of control. But it is only outward control. Terror can never control your heart unless you allow it to do so. 

There is a place in you called the “inner sanctum”.  According to the Oxford Dictionary, the term derives its name from the same phrase which refers to “the most sacred place in a temple or church.”  In the human being, the inner sanctum is a place that no one can touch. It is the place where you and God meet and which no one else can penetrate without your permission.

The inner sanctum is your heart.

Outside forces can destroy your body without your permission, but no force in the universe can destroy your inner sanctum or heart without your permission.

Jesus said it best: “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).

“Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body ;
they cannot touch your soul.” ~ Matthew 10:28

Terror is the opposite of love. Terror is a form of fear, and God has said this: “There is no fear in love” (I John 4:18). In other words, when love reigns in the heart, terror cannot overtake the heart.

Terror can overpower physically, but terror will never overpower love because terror is inferior to love.  Love is the greatest power of all. Terror and terrorism will one day fail, but love will never fail (I Corinthians 13:8).

Let, therefore, the love of Jesus Christ rule in your heart. When you do, there will be no room for terror.
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In my newest work of fiction, SURRENDER TO LOVE, young widow and life coach, Dr. Teresa LopezPicMonkeyFINAL061815416pm Gonzalez, regrets that she did not have more time with her dead husband. Join her as she struggles to overcome regret and move into the future God has ordained for her.

Available in Kindle and print versions.

You may leave a comment by clicking here. To receive these blog posts in your emailbox, please click here.

If you found this post helpful, please pass it on to someone who can benefit from reading it. Thank you!

If you have any questions, you may contact me as follows:

Email: drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
Tel. 856-488-3580
________________________________
Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Photo Source: Fotolia.com File: #60891819 | Author: tashatuvango

Amazon.com Required Disclosure:  MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below:

Mission Possible

Your Mission, if you choose to accept it . . . .

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
_______________________________________

One of my favorite TV shows in the late sixties and early seventies was Mission Impossible.  Every show opened up with roughly the same following words:

“Good evening, Mr. Phelps. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is  . . . .  As always, should you or any of your I.M. (Impossible Mission) Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck.” (parenthesis mine)

Mission Possible card with colorful backgroundPhoto Source: Fotolia.com – File: #76121094 | Author: gustavofrazao

For the next sixty minutes, my husband and I would sit on the edge of our seats as Mr. Phelps overcame obstacle after obstacle and nearly got himself killed several times while accomplishing his mission.  Other than the fact that the verb “self-destruct” annoyed me because the correct verb is “self-destroy,” I loved the show.

And, of course, Mr. Phelps always accomplished his mission.  Why? Because he had no choice but to accomplish it.  If he didn’t, the series would end. 🙂 

On a serious note, Mr Phelps always accomplished his mission because he had the help of a great team.

As followers of Yeshua, we, too, have a mission. That mission is to love. And, although at times it may seem so, our mission to love is not an impossible one.  Like Mr. Phelps, we will encounter obstacles in accomplishing our mission, but we have the help of the greatest team in the universe: the Holy Trinity.

When Jesus gave us the command to love, He knew we would not be able to love in our own strength.  Indeed, the only way we can truly love others with agape love, the God-kind of love, is to allow Jesus to love through us.  There is no other way. 

As a born-again believer, you have Christ living inside you.  You are, as it were, a container for Christ.  Your job is to allow Him to pour Himself out of you into the person who needs to be loved with His love. You also have the power of the Holy Spirit to enable you to love.  And, of course, you have the compassion of the Father to inspire you to love.

Your heart was made to love, but sin got in the way.  Now that you are a new creature in Christ, sin no longer has to get in the way of your loving.  Your mission to love is possible.

And, best of all, when you love, Jesus will never disavow any knowledge of your actions, nor will your mission of love ever self-destroy. On the contrary, Jesus will acknowledge your loving actions before the Father, and your mission of love will continue forever in Heaven.

It doesn’t get any better than that. 🙂

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In my newest work of fiction, SURRENDER TO LOVE, young widow and life coach, Dr. Teresa LopezPicMonkeyFINAL061815416pmGonzalez, lives in fear until she learns to use her spiritual eyes to discern God’s will for her life.

Available in Kindle and print versions.

You may leave a comment by clicking here. To receive these blog posts in your emailbox, please click here.

If you found this post helpful, please pass it on to someone who can benefit from reading it. Thank you!

If you have any questions, you may contact me as follows:

Email: drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
Tel. 856-488-3580
________________________________
Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.
Source Cited: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Mission:_Impossible
Photo Source: Fotolia.com – File: #76121094 | Author: gustavofrazao

Amazon.com Required Disclosure:  MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below:

Wall-Builders and Bridge-Builders

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
________________________________________

thThere are those who build walls. There are those who build bridges. Which one are you?

A wall-builder is a person who shuts others out of his life because he fears rejection. He is a self-preservationist and desires above all else to protect himself from being hurt. In building a wall, the wall-builder thinks he is keeping himself from pain. In reality, he only adds to his pain because the walls he builds around himself eventually become his prison.

A bridge-builder is a person who welcomes others into his life because he loves and wants to connect with them. He is more concerned with protecting others than he is with protecting himself. In building a bridge, the bridge-builder knows that he will experience pain. But he is not afraid because he knows that to love is to be willing to experience pain.

Which one are you? A wall-builder or a bridge-builder? You can choose which one you will be. If you have any doubts, remember this: there can be no love without pain. Just look at the Cross.

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To learn more about becoming a bridge-builder, get your copy of Dr. MaryAnn’s popular ebook, You Were Made for Greatness! 
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Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission. Photo Source: Public Domain Images.

Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below:

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The One-Minute Love Walk

Do you have trouble walking in love? When that crazy driver cuts you off in traffic or that co-worker blows the team project, do you find yourself reacting in anger, impatience, and unkindness instead of responding in love, patience, and kindness?  If so, I’d like to suggest to you a simple practice that, if applied, will turn your life around.  It’s called the One-Minute Love Walk.

Okay. Lest you think I’m being totally unrealistic, listen up.  There is an old saying that goes like this:  “Inch by inch, anything’s a cinch; yard by yard, it’s hard.”  This saying applies perfectly to walking in love. If we look at the prospect of walking in love every single minute of every single day, we may feel overwhelmed and think it’s impossible.  But if we look only at the next minute and determine that we are going to love for only the next minute, then the seemingly impossible becomes possible.

So, how does this  work?  It’s a simple two-step process:

1) Decide that everything you think, say, and do for the next minute only you will think, say, and do motivated only by love.

2) When you’ve succeeded to walk in love for an entire minute, move on  to the next minute and decide to do the same thing.

By the time you put your head on your pillow at night, you will have walked in love for several hours. What’s more, you will feel good that you have obeyed Christ’s command to “love one another” (John 13:34).

Walking in love is a command.  But it is a command we can keep only by staying in close relationship with Jesus Christ. The truth is that we cannot love without Jesus because it is Jesus Who actually loves others through us. We are simply the conduits of His love. The more we abide in Him, the more easily we will love others.

There is nothing in the universe greater than love. In fact, Scripture tells us that God is Love (I John 4:8).  Love is the very essence of God’s nature.

So, the next time the enemy tempts you to react out of fear instead of love, stop and take a deep breath. Then determine that for the next minute only, you will walk in love. As you do this day after day, you will notice that your life is being transformed to one of great peace and joy.

Questions: 1) Why do you think people fail to respond in love?  Why is fear considered the opposite of love? How will walking in love change your life? You may leave a comment by clicking here.  To receive these blog posts in your emailbox, please click here.
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Copyright 2015 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD. All Rights Reserved.